Stand Ground is our proposal for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, FREESPACE.
Freespace translates in Spanish to a play on words: it means “Set space free/libera espacio”, and “leeway for action/espacio libre”. To our studio, Freespace is both the imperative to act and a space for action latent within the potential development of a place. Places are the pavestone for resilience and equity. We stand by the belief that architecture is capable of placemaking. Our intervention transforms the wall into a floor, reconnects the backdrop to the foreground changing barriers into boundaries.
A 1:1 reproduction of the exhibit-space wall, made of recycled Venetian brick, paves the ground of the Arsenale for a new horizon: by deconstructing the wall, the public realm integrates with the private sphere.
The installation is a symbolic gesture that transmutes a barrier into a common-ground experience: walls are inflexible barriers but grounding their limits to principles of equity and resilience paves the way for community boundaries.
To emphasize the symbolic absence of a vertical dividing structure, a real-time view of the Venice Canal and the outer street is projected onto a screen placed on the back wall of the exhibit space, inviting the outside into the Arsenale space; visitors engage a different understanding of space through the fictional, poetic, oneiric.
The installation piece is complemented by display-tables in curio-cabinet arrangements showing the design process of the actual proposal, the studio’s design work, methodology and related public space interventions in social housing projects.
The display-tables also show our book UH: Common Spaces in Housing Units compiling the research for three of our public-space-recovery projects : Common Unit, Rooftop Court and Fresnillo. The book may be consulted in the Stirling Book Pavilion
Sponsors: Infonavit, SariUrban y Alumnos 47
Collaborators: Francisca López Pani, Louise Rouzaud, Karina Caballero, Ombeline de Laage, Adriana Rodríguez
Construction: WeExhibit Italia
Video: Fernando Llanos
Production of exhibition tables: Taller Tornel
Photos: Sandra Pereznieto